2023 Kicks Off With Mercury Retrograde. Here’s Why That’s Good News.

Pexels / Mikhail Nilov

December, the grand finale and one of the glitziest, most social, outrageously busy moments of the year, can’t help but offer up a sense of urgency. There’s so much to get done in such little time, and yet, you likely can’t help but reminisce and reflect on the previous 12 months before plowing into a whole new year. And if you’re feeling that way whatsoever, you’re right on track with the Mercury retrograde vibes settling in.

After all, when the planet of communication, transportation, and technology appears to move backward from our vantage point on Earth, you’re encouraged to review, reflect, and revise. Falling in Capricorn, the cardinal earth sign, Mercury’s fourth and final backspin of the year officially kicks off on Dec. 29 and wraps up on Jan. 18. Thankfully, understanding the themes of this particular Mercury retrograde can help you make the most of it.

What Does Mercury Retrograde Mean in Astrology?

To get a sense of what Mercury retrograde entails, it can help to understand how the planet functions when it’s moving forward (aka “is direct”). Typically, Mercury, the messenger planet, speeds up our ability to connect, supports our mental energy, and keeps technology and transportation running smoothly. But three to four times a year, for three weeks at a time, it appears to slow down and move backward through the zodiac. And when this happens, miscommunications abound, transportation gets hairy, and our devices glitch out.

But again, it’s not all doom and gloom. The planet of communication’s frequent slowdowns encourage us to rest, recharge, take a step back, and contend with the past in order to make room for the future.

The General Vibe of Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

Although Mercury often takes a trip back through two signs (for instance, it was retrograde in Libra and Virgo back in September), the planet of communication will be retrograde in Capricorn – ruled by Saturn, the planet of boundaries and hard work – for its entire backspin this time around. That said, the overall tone of this particular retrograde is industrious, pragmatic, and made for getting organized in order to achieve your big-picture goals. You may have to put your nose to the grindstone on projects that were previously back-burnered in order to finally get them checked off your list, or perhaps you’ll have to revisit an ongoing conversation on a sticky subject with an authority figure. It will also be ideal for reassessing which mountains are worth putting your time and energy toward climbing.

To better understand how you’ll experience these often confusing but ultimately enlightening three weeks, read on for your December 2022-January 2023 Mercury retrograde horoscope, and be sure to read not only your sun sign but also your rising sign, if you know it.

The Meaning of the December 2022-January 2023 Mercury Retrograde For Each Zodiac Sign

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Mercury’s retrograde falls in your 10th house of career and public image, so you’ll be challenged to slow down (one of your least favorite things to do pretty much ever) in order to tie up loose ends related to your professional path. While the first of the year might feel like another opportunity to initiate ambitious projects or take existing roles and responsibilities to the next level, you’ll do well to reassess what you currently have on your plate and refine your efforts. Finessing the details could actually get you further than diving into a whole new game plan.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Mercury’s retrograde falls in your ninth house of higher learning and adventure, which could throw a wrench in efforts to travel or take a class that you hoped would allow you to hone a particular skill set. The bright side: You get a chance to reflect on how you’ve been getting out of your comfort zone – and decide whether a different approach might lead to an even greater broadening of your horizons. Maybe the skills you were thinking of sharpening aren’t really going to serve you best in the long run, or you could save money by switching up your dream vacation destination. Think on it, and come mid January, you’ll know which direction to go.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

Mercury retrogrades always hit you harder than others, given that the messenger planet rules your sign. But this time around, its effects may be a little less apparent, because it’s happening in your eighth house of emotional bonds and joint resources, which is a rather quiet area of your chart. Your key planet’s backspin here means that it’s time to go back to the drawing board to talk about shared money issues with a loved one or your SO. You might also want to set aside quality time to reflect and meditate on what makes you most comfortable within your dearest bonds, as that will only serve to make them stronger in the long-term.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

This Mercury retrograde falls in your seventh house of partnership, which makes it very much about redefining, reexamining, and caring for your one-on-one bonds – and not just of the romantic variety. It could be that you and your closest colleague need to take a closer look at your working dynamic and determine how to best hit shared productivity goals, or you and your bestie find it rejuvenating to take a walk down memory lane together. As long as you watch out for crossed wires (think: feeling like you’re speaking a different language than someone), you can come away feeling like your relationships are even stronger than before.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Mercury’s backspin is happening in your sixth house of daily routine and wellness, which makes it even more about getting organized for you than almost any other sign. The sixth house is all about the everyday details that keep us on track in a big-picture sense, and TBH, you tend to be more interested in the exciting long-term aspirations than getting into the weeds of what it takes to make them happen. But over the three weeks of Mercury retrograde, finessing your workout routine, tackling clutter, getting your calendar in order, and just generally nurturing the foundation of your perpetual hustle can ultimately boost your success.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Mercury retrogrades tend to affect you a bit more strongly than others given that the cerebral planet is your ruler. But unlike the last time it moved backward through your sign, this backspin is lighting up your fifth house of romance and self-expression, which could certainly resurrect ghosty potential or previous partners. It might also inspire you to get back to a creative project that you hit pause on, perhaps due to being ever the perfectionist. Blend your Virgoan knack for tuning into the details with Capricorn cardinal energy, and you’ll be able to turn minutiae into a big-picture win.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The last Mercury retrograde hit your sign and 12th house of spirituality, which may have caused you to feel stuck. This time, it moves through your fourth house of home life, and while this can be challenging in its own way, you may have more clarity around how to make the most of it: by going inward and caring for the roots of your emotions and patterns. Explore how you can best heal yourself, and you’ll not only stand more strongly in your sense of self but find more peace and balance in your relationships with loved ones.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Pretty much everyone will have to endure tech glitches, misunderstandings, and transportation delays during this Mercury retrograde, but those hallmarks of the event might be particularly apparent for you because it happens in your third house of communication. But before you crawl under your bed for the next three weeks, consider the fact that this can also be an opportunity to revise exciting proposals with friends and colleagues. Reassess an idea that you wanted to run with in the past, and you may find you can get it off the ground now. And because this is a super-social area of your chart, you’ll likely bump into friends and connections from the past, which could, at the very least, prove entertaining if not productive.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

With the messenger planet moving backward through your second house of income, you’ll be nudged to take a microscope to the details of your moneymaking plans. It might be time to overhaul how you’ve been handling your budget, savings plan, investments, or credit cards. You could also be brainstorming how to take your earnings to the next level. Either way, putting in the time and energy to get your financial ducks in a row can set you up nicely for the year ahead.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Mercury retrograde falls in your sign this time around, which means you have a special opportunity to reimagine your big-picture intentions and how you want to be showing up in the world. Sure, you might feel misunderstood at times, or potentially even a bit stuck in neutral. Even though you tend to move slowly, you’re always aiming to make steady progress, so this slowdown can be a tough pill to swallow. But do your best to be gentle with yourself and trust that no matter how delayed you might feel, you’re actually precisely where you need to be – and right on time.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This Mercury retrograde falls in your 12th house of spirituality, which is the sleepiest part of your chart. It’s the realm of dreams and illusions, and being that you’re so rational, you might feel a bit like a fish out of water with the planet of information gathering dwelling – and moving backward – here for so long. Give yourself plenty of opportunities to rest, recharge, and reflect on goals that you merely had the seed of an idea for at one time. Let your imagination run wild without any set plan, and you could be surprised by just how motivated you’ll ultimately become.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Mercury moves backward through your 11th house of networking, which could support you in the revision of a group effort. You could be brushing up on plans for a large-scale push with your colleagues or undergoing reviews that may lead to different career paths. And you might reconnect with friends or coworkers from the past, which may or may not lead to new collaborations. This is also the area of your chart dedicated to long-term wishes, so give yourself plenty of time and space to reflect on what you want in your heart of hearts. You might find you can easily revise your strategy for fulfilling these desires.

Related: All the Planetary Retrogrades to Come In 2023

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